Our Translational Scientist, Dr. Nabeetha Nagalingam, recently featured in the HuffPost article, “‘Rotten Egg Breath’ Could Be a Sign of This Health Problem”, as well as in the Mirror article “‘Rotten egg breath’ could be a sign of serious health problems – how to combat it”, discussing the link between gut bacteria and bad breath.
What makes the bad breath smell?
You may have heard of Sulfur before, a gas that has a distinctively eggy smell. Did you know, some of the bacteria found in the gut break down compounds that contain sulfur, which produces hydrogen sulfide which smells exactly the same! Nabeetha points out that it is normal to have some hydrogen sulfide in the breath, however high levels have been associated with a number of different inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It could also indicate that you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), whereby there is an excessive amount of bacteria in the small intestine, as ‘research has found that people with SIBO have a higher proportion of hydrogen sulfide in their breath’, explains Nabeetha. You can find out more about this condition in some of our other SIBO related blogs.
Did you know, probiotics containing the bacterial strains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are said to reduce hydrogen sulfide levels, and experimenting with diet and foods to determine what foods trigger your symptoms could also help. Take a read of the articles to read other tips on how to reduce the smell. It is important to discuss this with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements or making any drastic diet changes.
Nabeetha continues ‘You can combine these changes with Hydrogen Methane Breath Tests, to help you gain insight into what’s happening in your gut. Our research at OMED Health is helping us take major steps towards the launch of a hydrogen sulfide-specific breath test’.
If you are interested in monitoring your gut health, the soon-to-be-launched OMED Health Breath Analyzer and App aims to help you learn more about what triggers your digestive discomfort. The device can collect breath samples alongside key lifestyle factors in the app to provide data to help you make informed decisions about your gut health.